Monthly Archives: June 2018

Work begins next week on U.S. 50 between Columbus and North Vernon

Indiana Department of Transportation’s contractor plans to begin making pavement repairs next week on U.S. Highway 50 between U.S. 31 and the roundabout construction site at the west end of the North Vernon bypass.

INDOT says that Dave O’Mara, the state’s contractor for this $1.9 million rehabilitation project, will make full and partial-depth asphalt patches in advance of milling and surface-paving operations along the 8.3-mile section of east-west roadway. The work is dependent on the weather.

Flaggers will be onsite to direct motorists around individual worksites. Work is slated to begin Monday or Tuesday.

Mill Race Theatre Company to perform ‘The Little Mermaid’

The Mill Race Theatre Company will perform Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” at 7:30 p.m. July 13th and 14th and 2:30 p.m. July 15th at Columbus North High School’s Erne Auditorium.

Tickets are available online at and can be purchased in person at Mill Race Center, 900 Lindsey Street. Advance tickets are $6 for students and seniors and $10 for adults. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door. Tickets are $8 for students and seniors and $12 for adults.

State Road 9 work underway in Shelby County

The Indiana Department of Transportation has announced traffic pattern shifts on State Road 9 between Broadway Street in Shelby County and the Shelby/Bartholomew county line for continued pavement work.

Beginning Friday night, traffic will switch from two-way traffic to only southbound traffic for 15 days. Traffic is anticipated to resume two-way traffic flow on July 14th. INDOT says that local access will be maintained during this traffic shift.

A traffic shift is also underway between Hasecuster Lane in Shelby County and the Shelby/Bartholomew County line. INDOT says that traffic has switched from only southbound traffic to two-way traffic for 25 days. Traffic is expected to return to southbound only traffic on July 23rd between County Road 750 South and the Shelby/Bartholomew County line. Local access will be maintained during this traffic shift.

This work is part of a $10.3 million contract to replace or resurface pavement on more than 12 miles of State Road 9 in Shelby County. The work also includes the replacement of storm sewer, concrete curb and gutter, and sidewalks.

Police suggest how to legally set off fireworks

Columbus police are asking that if you are setting off fireworks, to be courteous to your neighbors and that you stay safe this Independence Day.

Lt Matt Harris explains:

Harris said that you can legally set off fireworks until 11 p.m. every night, or until midnight on the Fourth of July.

He explains that you are responsible for any damages you cause to other people’s property:

You are not allowed to shoot fireworks in city parks or other city-owned spaces.

Harris suggests how you can protect your family.:


Three arrested after search of Vernon home

Jennings County deputies planning to arrest a man wanted on a drug dealing warrant, ended up with three arrests on drug charges.

Authorities say that they received a tip at about 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday night that 18-year- old Noah Paton of Vernon was at a mobile home in that town. Paton was wanted on a warrant for dealing marijuana.

Deputies saw him walk into the home and when they went to the door, officers could smell a strong scent of marijuana. After getting a search warrant, they discovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia, scales, marijuana wax and marijuana growing in a back bedroom.

In addition to the warrant, Paton is facing new charges of dealing and possessing marijuana, as well as possessing drug paraphernalia.

21-year-old Thomas M. Willey and 43-year-old Weldon C. Willey, both of Westport, were arrested on preliminary charges of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

A 16-year-old girl and 17-year-old girl at the home were released to their parents.

Hope to host Old-Fashioned Independence Day on Friday

The town of Hope will be celebrating Independence Day a little early.

Jessica Brown, a member of the Yellow Trail Museum board, explains:

Brown said that the event is both nostalgic and low cost.

There will also be old-time games for the children to participate in.

There will also be  family friendly activities and contests such as a Little Miss and Mr. Firecracker competition, an apple pie baking contest and a fish fry with the Hartsville Volunteer Fire Department.

Things get underway at 5 p.m. with fireworks at about 10 p.m.

The event is free, but you can buy an ice cream float for $1 to support the museum.

Area healthcare professionals face charges

Attorney General Curtis Hill today announced that his office has participated in a major nationwide enforcement action against doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals for alleged participation in health care fraud schemes. The Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit played a key role in 12 criminal investigations that uncovered more than $200,000 in alleged Medicaid fraud, leading to charges against 14 individuals, including one in Jennings County and another in Johnson County.

These investigations are part of a nationwide initiative led by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to these federal agencies, this national effort is the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action.

In Jennings County, Catherine Feaster allegedly forged time-sheets and related documents with the name of her husband, as if he performed that work. Authorities say Feaster’s husband was actually incarcerated in the Jennings County Jail at the time the work was alleged to have been performed. She is facing felony charges of Medicaid Fraud and Forgery.

In Johnson County, R.N. Alicia Wenzel allegedly stole drugs from Johnson Memorial Hospital’s electronic dispensing machine, including hydromorphone, Ativan and morphine. Authorities say that Wenzel then made false records involving those controlled substances. She is facing multiple felony charges of Acquiring a Controlled Substance by Fraud or Deceit, Possession of a Narcotic Drug and Forgery.

Extreme heat forecast this weekend

The Bartholomew County Emergency Management Agency is warning about “oppressive heat and humidity” for our area this weekend. Officials say this weekend will bring “the most uncomfortable conditions of the summer so far,” beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday. Each day is forecast to have temperatures in the low to mid-90s and increased humidity levels that will raise the heat index above 100.

During this upcoming heat wave, you are encouraged to use caution if you must be outside for any length of time. Take frequent breaks in the shade or air conditioning. Drink plenty of water and never leave a child or a pet in a hot vehicle.

Bartholomew County 4-H Fair right around the corner

The Bartholomew County 4-H Fair kicks off next week, but preparations are well underway. This year’s edition of the fair runs from July 6th through the 14th. It officially kicks off at 5 p.m. on July 3rd when the midway opens as well. Midway rides are provided by Burton Brothers Amusements.

Grandstand events include truck and tractor pulls, demolition derby, monster trucks and three-quarter midget racing, among others.

For a complete list of fair events and activities, visit

North Vernon playground to open Thursday

North Vernon Elementary will be celebrating a new playground Thursday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m. at the school, located at 810 West Walnut Street, and you are invited.

The school received a grant of more than $70,000 for the equipment from the Culturelle Kids Playground Project and KaBOOM. Officials with the Jennings County School Corporation and North Vernon credited local residents for making the grant possible, noting that the recipients of these grants were decided by online voting in a national poll.

School personnel said they were happy to get the grant, noting that much of the equipment on the playground had been there since it first opened more than 40 years ago.